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Kidney Diseases

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Kidney Failure

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidneys failure is a condition where the kidneys stop working or injury keeps them from filtering properly. In kidney failure, these bacteria and salts build up and can have bad effects on the heart, brain, lungs, and other organs.

What are Kidneys?

The kidneys are a pair of organs located just behind the stomach. Their main purpose is to separate urea, mineral salts, toxins, and other waste products from the blood. They also conserve water, salts, and electrolytes. At least one kidney must function properly for life to be maintained.

Types of Kidney Failure

There are two main types of kidney failure: acute and chronic.

Acute kidney failure is most likely to occur after complicated surgery or a severe injury, or when blood vessels leading to your kidneys become blocked.

Chronic kidney failure usually develops slowly, with few signs or symptoms in the early stages. Many people with chronic kidney failure don't realize they have a problem until their kidney function has decreased to less than 25 percent of normal.

What Causes Kidney Failure?

The cause of kidney failure depends on the type. Acute kidney failure is usually caused by a complicated surgery, a severe injury or blockage of blood vessels leading to your kidneys. Chronic kidney failure is most often caused by high blood pressure and diabetes.

Complications of Kidney Failure

When the kidneys fail, bacteria and salts build up and can have bad effects on the heart, brain, lungs, and other organs.

Can Kidney Failure be Treated?

Yes. Treatment options will depend on the cause. Most people with interstitial nephritis get better. Their kidneys start working normally after a few weeks. Some people may need a year to get better.

Other treatments for kidney failure include kidney transplant and dialysis.

Can Kidney Failure be Prevented?

Yes. Some common ways to lower your risk of developing kidney failure are:

  • DO NOT use any prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal or nutrition supplements without talking to your doctor.
  • Take your medicines for diabetes and high blood pressure regularly, and follow your doctor's instructions.
  • Let your doctor know about any reactions or allergies to medicines.


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